Reviewer of the Month (2023)

Posted On 2024-02-02 11:28:26

In 2023, AOT reviewers continue to make outstanding contributions to the peer review process. They demonstrated professional effort and enthusiasm in their reviews and provided comments that genuinely help the authors to enhance their work.

Hereby, we would like to highlight some of our outstanding reviewers, with a brief interview of their thoughts and insights as a reviewer. Allow us to express our heartfelt gratitude for their tremendous effort and valuable contributions to the scientific process.

December, 2023
Carlos Serra, Hospital dos SAMS, Portugal

December, 2023

Carlos Serra

Carlos Serra, Md, PhD, FACS, is professor of surgery and director of the Department of Surgery of Hospital dos SAMS, Lisbon, Portugal. He is also the general and endocrine surgeon, specially dedicated to thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal and melanoma surgery. His principal research topics focus on parathyroid detection by autofluorescence and fluorescence-guided surgery. He is the pioneer in Portugal of posterior retroperitoneoscopic adrenalectomy and utilization of autofluorescence in parathyroid surgery. With more than 20 peer-reviewed articles and 4 book chapters, he also reviews more than 50 articles for the most prestigious surgical end endocrine journals. He is the coordinator of the endocrine surgery chapter of Portuguese Society of Surgery. He is President of the Portuguese Interdisciplinary Society of Medical Laser and President of Scientific Council of Portuguese Society of Endocrine Surgery. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

In Dr. Serra’s opinion, a reviewer should have a vast knowledge on the subject of the analyzed manuscript. He/she must be fair and open minded even when dealing with disruptive or provocative articles. It is also important that a reviewer resists the temptation of rewriting the paper in revision. The writing style of the author must be understood and respected. The reviewer must understand thoroughly his role in the improvement of the manuscript, helping the author to expose his/her research in a concise form.

We are living in a dangerous era, where all types of information can be spread worldwide without any control,” says Dr. Serra. To him, peer review is a safety guard against fake information, and it is essential to defend good research practices. Scientific advances must be thoroughly and rigorously scrutinized before incorporated in daily practice. The scientific community thus relies on the peer-review practice.

In addition, an objective review, in Dr. Serra’s opinion, must allow the authors to explain their research or theories without any other restrictions than the scientific rigor and truth even if they contradict the reviewers’ convictions. Before he accepts to review a manuscript, he assures that the subject is not outside his field of knowledge, otherwise he would not be able to do a fair review. After that, he does his first analysis, extracting the key points of the manuscript, before reviewing it thoroughly both in form and content. Even though in some cases he could know the authors (when the work is not anonymized), he tries to avoid getting their previous research influence his judgement of the actual manuscript.

(by Lareina Lim, Brad Li)